Author Topic: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?  (Read 2671 times)

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Offline danielanastasi

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Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« on: August 05, 2009, 09:37:03 PM »
Hey all,

I am in need of an amp that will be used for gigs hopefully in the near future, so I have been doing the rounds searching for a Tube amp.

As money isn't overly abundant at the present, I have decided that 2nd hand will most probably be the way to go.

I am after some advice from the veterans on the site about what to look for when buying a second hand tube amp.  I don't want to spend a substantial quantity of money only to find I have bought a dud.

I am currently looking at a head/cab combo being sold second hand.  If I give you some details, can anyone please tell me what to look for, what to ask, what to check?

Is it a Laney VH100R with the matching cab.  (I have not tried it out yet, but does anyone know if this is an appropriate amp for technical metal?)

Seller said it was made in the mid ninties and has been serviced regularly.  Has been gigged with buy has not been used for a while as he does not gig anymore. Tubes were changed a year ago and has been played about 5 times since then.

Is there a shop I can take it to for the once over?  Do you do this sort of thing Perry?  Hopefully trying it out on the weekend...

Thanks for the help everyone,

Dan  :headbang:

Offline Alcoholocaust

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #1 on: August 06, 2009, 06:02:26 AM »
Jim @ blue glow amps, couldn't reccomend him enough  :D

don't have his number on me but if you search the site it'll pop up

Offline RichardMTS

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #2 on: August 06, 2009, 07:59:12 AM »
I have a VH100R and i fucking love it, They are a solid little head hey only major problem with them is they have WAY too much treble i haven't got mine past 2-3 ever. When i bought mine secondhand I changed out the el34's for 6l6's, bought some decent preamp tubes and had the guy Rebiasing it check over the whole amp for any problems.
He couldn't find anything wrong and said he had been working on a couple of them previously and never found any major problems they're a well built amp!
The reverb isn't that great but i use a pedal for that, The Overdrive channel is pretty chunky but you need a tubescreamer or a bad monkey to tighten it up.
Laney Cab's leave much to be desired in my personal oppinion. I just ordered in some V30's through my work cheap and did up my old Cab, I am more than happy with how it sounds now  ;D
I really don't know if that will help your decision I have heard mixed oppinions on them but personally with a couple of pedals i make mine sound brutal ;D
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 08:02:03 AM by RichardMTS »

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #3 on: August 06, 2009, 10:38:28 AM »
Thanks for the Replies Guys!

Rich, I have only heard a few sound clips of the amp, but none of the people were playing anything heavey enough...  I'm stoked that you can make it sound really brutal, which is what I'm after.  I'll have to look into some tube screamers then.

Shaun, Thanks for the advice mate - I'll dig up the number tonight.  Reckon it's worth giving the amp the once over?

Cheers guys,

Dan

Offline Beast

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #4 on: August 06, 2009, 10:57:04 AM »
If theres one thing Laney amps seem to love its pedals. Stick them in front of it, in the FX loop. They just lap them up.

I've got a Laney GH100L the gain channel on that can get quite heavy but its not really a "metal" sound more of a hard rock/Doom metal kinda sound. Think Sabbath

Havent tried the VH100R so cant really comment, but id assume it wouldnt be too different just more gain. Depends on what kind of sound you want. Im sure the VH100R would do the trick for brutal stuff, just push the mids and crank the gain.

Offline Sheriff Cunt

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #5 on: August 06, 2009, 11:46:20 AM »
Chris from nails of imposition uses a VH100R im pretty sure with just a boost pedal and it sounds pretty farken brutal
I give my flesh and blood freely to the Warchief. I am the instrument of my Warchief's desire. I am a weapon of my Warchief's command.

From this moment until the end of days I live and die - For the Horde!

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #6 on: August 06, 2009, 02:06:23 PM »
Thanks Beast - I think I'll have to hear it first then and see if it is for me.

Admiral - I knew Chris used a Laney, but I just didn't know which...  If he can pull of nails stuff then it will be plenty brutal enough for me.

I will probably look into a boost pedal/Tubescreamer or something for the amp, but I haven't got one yet.  How am I suppose to know how much it will effect the amps tone?  I don't want to buy it thinking that a pedal will fix all its shortcomings, and then find out it doesn't...

Can anyone explain to me what sound difference a boost pedal makes?  Is it just a more focused, 'gainier' sound?  I've never used one before...

Thanks again!

Dan

Offline Beast

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #7 on: August 06, 2009, 02:12:58 PM »
Chris from nails of imposition uses a VH100R im pretty sure with just a boost pedal and it sounds pretty farken brutal

i thought he was using a GH100L with a Vox Tonelab? or am i thinking of someone else?

Offline Sheriff Cunt

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #8 on: August 06, 2009, 02:13:23 PM »
Tubescreamers are pricey, but they are pretty fuckn awesome. Retail youll pick one up for 4-500, can get em cheap off ebay.
I give my flesh and blood freely to the Warchief. I am the instrument of my Warchief's desire. I am a weapon of my Warchief's command.

From this moment until the end of days I live and die - For the Horde!

Offline Sheriff Cunt

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #9 on: August 06, 2009, 02:13:58 PM »
Chris from nails of imposition uses a VH100R im pretty sure with just a boost pedal and it sounds pretty farken brutal

i thought he was using a GH100L with a Vox Tonelab? or am i thinking of someone else?

Perhaps it is, im not sure but alls i know is it sounds brutal as
I give my flesh and blood freely to the Warchief. I am the instrument of my Warchief's desire. I am a weapon of my Warchief's command.

From this moment until the end of days I live and die - For the Horde!

Offline RichardMTS

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #10 on: August 06, 2009, 02:34:01 PM »
A TS9 Tube Screamer is only like $250 Max brand new  ??? I dunno what a TS808 goes for there probably more pricey.
I dunno the best way to explain how the work Dan  :( I haven't got a great way with words ahahaha.

They Just boost and Tighten the Gain up a little and boost the volume.
You stick it in front of your amp (Not keen on the whole Stomp Boxes in the FX loop thing)
Set the Gain to Zero the Volume and Tone to halfway as a good start and tweak it from there ;D
Hope that helps a little! :p

Offline Beast

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #11 on: August 06, 2009, 03:01:16 PM »
really heavy "Clean" distortion is the result of several low gain stages. Thats how expensive High gain amps do it as far as i know

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #12 on: August 06, 2009, 03:05:12 PM »
Cheers,

Thanks for the explanation Rich - Is that what you use?  A VH and a boost pedal?  Any chance of some sound clips of it in action?  what sort of music do you play?

What other options have I got besides a tubescreamer? 

Beast and admiral - Maybe Chris uses a GH100L?  Is that a similar sort of gain?

Thanks guys, 

Dan


Offline RichardMTS

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #13 on: August 06, 2009, 03:41:52 PM »
Hey Dan,

A GH100L is pretty much the same as a VH100R except it's a single channel version.
I play in a (I am gonna get so ripped into for this) Symphonic Metal/Deathcore band called Make Them Suffer and a Grind band Called Death By Deepthroat, I use either a tubescreamer/ns-2/eq7 through the dirty channel for a In your face overdrive that's still clear as or if i just want a chugg fest Metalzone/ns2/eq7 and scooped mids through the clean channel with the crunch on. I play Seven Strings and to be honest both settings are chunky enough and clear enough, I just like to play with different settings all the time ahaha. I am no Tech Shredder by any means but Lord Jim has shredded my rig a couple of times and it sounds good playing Tech shit through.

To add to that The Winged C 6l6's and a mix of JJ's and Shugang 9th generations 12ax7's Work Beautifully in this amp ;D
« Last Edit: August 06, 2009, 04:01:55 PM by RichardMTS »

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #14 on: August 06, 2009, 03:53:49 PM »
Thanks Rich,

You shouldn't need to feel like your gonna get ripped on...  You should be able to play whatever the fuck you want.  Don't worry mate - I appreciate the advice!

Do you find the extra EQ is required for the VH?

Getting more and more keen on this amp by the post :) 

Cheers for the input,

Dan

Offline Sheriff Cunt

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #15 on: August 06, 2009, 04:11:07 PM »
A TS9 Tube Screamer is only like $250 Max brand new  ??? I dunno what a TS808 goes for there probably more pricey.
I dunno the best way to explain how the work Dan  :( I haven't got a great way with words ahahaha.

They Just boost and Tighten the Gain up a little and boost the volume.
You stick it in front of your amp (Not keen on the whole Stomp Boxes in the FX loop thing)
Set the Gain to Zero the Volume and Tone to halfway as a good start and tweak it from there ;D
Hope that helps a little! :p


Sorry i shoulda mentioned i was referring to the TS-808.
I give my flesh and blood freely to the Warchief. I am the instrument of my Warchief's desire. I am a weapon of my Warchief's command.

From this moment until the end of days I live and die - For the Horde!

Offline RichardMTS

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #16 on: August 06, 2009, 04:18:57 PM »
Ahaha thanks man!
To be honest I am starting to not like the EQ7 anymore it's too broad a range you tweak it a little bit and it scoops/shapes a whole chunk of the EQ band,
I have always been told to use an EQ and with my old rig  (power amp/31 band EQ/Pod XT nicely fit into a gator case!) It was awesome for tweaking to cut through in live situations but i seriously don't need it for this head.
Seriously the only thing that might put you off is the ridiculous amount of treble but if you keep it below 4 and the mids are at a nice level (The amp has good high range mids) You'll be sweet  :D

Offline Beast

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #17 on: August 06, 2009, 04:25:36 PM »
i find that the EQ on my GH100L is very subtle. which can be handy if you like things kept simple.
Pretty sure the gain is exactly the same on the VH100R to the GH100L but dont quote me on that. I agree with Richard but the Laney is has quite of lot of mid in the tone. Which is exactly what you'll need to cut and hear clear notes.

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #18 on: August 06, 2009, 04:39:08 PM »
Beast,

Am I correct in remembering that you have/had a 6505?  And it was modded as well from memory...

I remember discussing the bias upgrade on WF with you when I had mine.  I love the 6505 Tone - How does it compare to the GH100L/VH100R Gain channels?

Subtle EQ is good :)

Cheers,

Dan

Offline cdtBEAST

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #19 on: August 07, 2009, 12:49:23 AM »
The tubesceamer will boost the input signal giving the pre tubes more gain as the signal is louder. It also has a small mid hump in just the right spot to help push the mids through. It also tightens up the bottom end so it is less flappy. With a 5150/6505 it is great as they have a ton of fat bottom end that is unusable until a screamer is used. With the Laney it is top end heavy & when the bottom is pushed it can get flappy, the sceamer helps here also. This is with the distortion on the screamer set to 0. Add distortion slowly if needed. Although using the volume on the screamer to dive the tubes is usually more than enough. Also you can adjust the tone on the screamer to knock oof some of the highs or to crisp up the tone.

If you want to save some $ & can solder you can build a screamer yourself using a byoc kit that Ormsby sells. It comes with the ts808 & ts9 chip so you can decide. Also has a bass boost option & clipping options.

 ;)

Offline JohnnyC

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #20 on: August 15, 2009, 11:32:27 AM »
im selling this if you interested in a tubescreamer
http://www.wf.com.au/forum/index.php?topic=4912.0

your welcome to try it out and A/B it with the BYOC 808 kit i build (the one CDTbeast mentioned above)
thou mine has been heavily modded.


Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #21 on: August 15, 2009, 05:10:01 PM »
Hey Johnny,

That link doesn't work mate...  Are you still selling something?

Does anyone know how much a BYOC TS is from Perry?  Can't find prices atm...

Thanks Guys - Just to let you know, I did buy the laney :)

So now on the hunt for a TS.  Thanks for all your help and input.

Dan

Offline JohnnyC

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #22 on: August 15, 2009, 11:07:37 PM »
ah sorry man i was selling a BBE green screamer, however it literally got snapped up shortly after i posted that link so i deleted it.
dont know if ormsby still distributes the BYOC stuff but you can get them through here -

http://www.sound-music.com/catalogsearch/result/?q=byoc
or
http://www.bmusic.com.au/category5_1.htm

« Last Edit: August 16, 2009, 02:11:09 PM by JohnnyC »

Offline Alcoholocaust

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #23 on: August 16, 2009, 02:38:00 PM »
perry doesn't sell the BYOC stuff anymore

Offline danielanastasi

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Re: Buying Used Tube Amps - Advice?
« Reply #24 on: August 16, 2009, 03:01:50 PM »
Thanks Shaun,

I was talking to a mate who told me that last night...  :(  Cheers anyway :)

Dan